The Premier League’s fourth gameweek came to a goalless end yesterday, but look no further for more enticing football, as the Champions League group stage gets underway today! Chelsea and Arsenal start their UCL campaigns today, while the Manchester clubs will have to wait for tomorrow to come. Today’s “Daily Ticker” includes news on Michael Dawson’s injury, the Fernando Torres probe, and unveils the mystery man involved in Dispatches’ investigation.
Premier League News:
Scottish striker Garry O’Connor was our mystery man. The 28 year old was arrested for possessing cocaine four months ago and he tested positive for the substance back in 2009. The player was injured and his two month suspension was not made public, as those around the player felt it would be best for the him to recover from his problem without all the publicity. Dan Rowling, general manager at Barnsley who took the player on loan at the time, was understandably angry at Birmingham City, whom failed to alert the club of the striker’s troubles. Elvis Hammond and Shaun Newton were among those named in Dispatches, which ran the investigative story yesterday. Ex-Chelsea man Leon Knight told the program that “loads of footballers are taking” cocaine, because they have the money and want the girls.
This morning, the FA is defending their anti-doping policy. The FA states that all substances listed by the World Anti Doping Agency are banned and that players can face a ban anywhere from 6 to 24 months. According to the FA, all bans are posted on the UK Anti-Doping Agency’s website.
Harry Redknapp is sitting somewhere in North London banging his head against a wall for not getting the Gary Cahill deal done. The Spurs boss lost his captain, defender Michael Dawson, for two months due to a achilles problem that the back picked up in his side’s first win of the season. The center back will have to be replaced by either Vedran Corluka or Sebastian Bassong, because both William Gallas and Ledley King are not match fit, though King insists he is ready to play.
The Tottenham tactician has another problem on his hands. Rafael van der Vaart found the club’s decision to leave him out of the Europa League squad this week, “Annoying,” as he posted on his website. He claims he was not part of the decision and wrote, “Spurs could at least have consulted me.” However, the player maintains he will face Liverpool at the weekend. Van der Vaart suffered a hamstring strain in his team’s loss to Manchester City ahead of the international break.
Sir Alex Ferguson has certainly set his priorities, as far as getting Rio Ferdinand fit again. The United star played for the second time this season in their 5-0 thrashing of Bolton, after he picked up a hamstring injury in the opener against the Baggies. The Englishman has been left behind in Manchester and is reportedly being rested for the Red Devils’ upcoming clash with Chelsea.
Yes, things can get worse for Fernando Torres. The Spaniard has struggled to jump start his Chelsea career and calling the squad “old” and “very slow” certainly will not help the former Liverpool striker. Chelsea are probing the interview in which Torres made the above comments. The 50 million pound man, who did a interview for La Liga’s website, has defended himself, saying that his comments were improperly translated into English, though the interview was printed on the player’s website. Andre Villas-Boas is taking the incident seriously. He told the press, “We are going in-depth to regain the tape of that interview. We’ll see if things play exactly as they are in that interview.” The former Porto manager went on to undermine the benchwarmer’s comments saying, “Anyhow, it’s one player’s perspective. I don’t think it’s a perspective that the manager shares. I don’t have to share my players’ ideas sometimes.”
West Bromwich Albion’s Gabriel Tamas has been charged with violent conduct after elbowing Norwich City striker James Vaughan. The forward’s injuries were so severe he had to head to the hospital to see a plastic surgeon. Tamas has until 6 p.m. GMT today to respond to the charge issued by English football’s governing body.
“Our intention was not to sell him,” said Damien Comolli of Raul Meireles. The former Spurs director of football went on to say that the club was, “put in a corner,” when the Portuguese midfielder handed in his transfer request. Comolli also spoke about loaning out Alberto Aquilani to A.C. Milan and Joe Cole to Lille. “I told Alberto during the summer, unfortunately in that position [center midfield] is someone called Steven Gerrard and it would have been difficult for Alberto to play.” In addition, a LFC pounce for Eden Hazard is out of the question according to Comolli. Some believed the Reds’ deal with Lille for Joe Cole would turn into the Belgium starlet making the move to Anfield.
David Silva has been close to flawless in his Premier League career and his manager says the Spaniard, “is one of the best players in the world. I think he‘s the same as Xavi and Iniesta.” Mancini also questioned why the attacking midfielder did not head for Real Madrid or FC Barcelona and said the club is “lucky” to have the player. The Italian has the deepest bench in football and has plenty of options come Wednesday’s match against Napoli.
Arsene Wenger says all in Europe will be chasing Real Madrid and Barcelona. “Outside the country, Barca and Real Madrid have much more financial power than they had 14 years ago because they have individualized their TV rights,” said the Gunners’ boss ahead of his side’s match against Borussia Dortmund today, “So they, at the moment, can take who they want.” Wenger also believes that the continent is headed for a financial crisis in the near future and hopes, “That will put everything into perspective again. Football is not untouchable.”
Aaron Ramsey will not play for Arsenal in their match against Borussia Dortmund. The captain of the Welsh national team picked up the injury in training yesterday.
The Somalian-born, Islam Feruz, is headed from Celtic to Chelsea. After coming up through the Scottish outfit’s youth program, Feruz opted out of a professional contract for a move to England.
Kevin Davies’ wife is defending her man after his violent challenge on Tom Cleverley put the Manchester United youngster out for four weeks. Emma Davies wrote on her Twitter account, “For all the ill-informed haters… Kevin spoke to Tom Cleverly (sic) on the phone earlier. He would never intentionally hurt anyone.” A fraudulent Facebook account which claimed to belong to Cleverley, stated that the midfielder was angry and that Davies had not apologized for the harm he had caused. United has confirmed the Facebook page is not Cleverley’s.
Queen Park Rangers 0-0 Newcastle United: Match Report
Joey Barton captained a new look QPR side in his Loftus Road debut. Neil Warnock’s side enjoyed 58% of possession and had sixteen attempts on goal, but only four hit the target. Two of the shots were blocked on the line by Newcastle defenders Steven Taylor and Danny Simpson. Alejandro Faurlin had the biggest influence on the match and his partner in crime Mr. Barton performed just as well. Faurlin completed 84% of his passes and created three goal scoring opportunities for QPR.
The Magpies’ 4-4-2 was no match for QPR’s 4-3-3, however, Newcastle definitely went for the three points in this one, playing Shola Ameobi and Leon Best up front, while Jonas Guiterrez and Gabriel Obertan headed up play on the wings. However, Guiterrez and Obertan failed to create opportunities for their side and only whipped seven balls into the box. Joey Barton alone put the same amount of balls into the penalty area and made contact with his target three times, while the Newcastle pair only managed one successful cross.
Sean Wright-Phillips was fantastic in the match, creating four chances on four of his six crosses. In addition, the English attacker attempted to score five times for his new club.
Neil Warnock praised Barton for his performance, as the new QPR captain is eyeing a spot in the England team.
Asamoah Gyan was loaned to Al-Ain before Sunderland’s match against Chelsea. The club cites that interest from other clubs rattled that striker causing him to develop a negative attitude. The “economic benefits” of the deal and the upcoming African Nations Cup were also reasons for Gyan’s moves. Sunderland hope to clear the air with electrifying forward.